Republican efforts to suppress 2020 votes begins in earnest

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Grandasaur Egg, May 20, 2020.

  1. Grandasaur Egg

    Grandasaur Egg Groor.

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  2. Grandasaur Egg

    Grandasaur Egg Groor.

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  3. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    sounds like liberal Grandasaur Egg supports B A L L O T H A R V E S T I N G

    don't let the DIRTY DEMS try to rig another election with illegal votes! Say NO to mail-in ballots!!!

  4. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    that lady looks really intelligent btw

    it's in the eyes I guess. u can just tell there's a lot going on upstairs
  5. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    Is there even a basis for claiming that mail in ballots are somehow illegal? Every state I’ve lived in has had them available under at least some circumstances
  6. Agrul

    Agrul TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    the shining city on the hill
    how we wish 2 vote her will
    but dont vote by mail
    or ur a libcuck shill
  7. Mern is Best

    Mern is Best TZT Addict

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  8. Kors

    Kors TZT Addict

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    Utah is one of the most Republican states in the country and has done mail in ballots for everyone for the last two elections without widespread problems
  9. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

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  10. Ssalam

    Ssalam TZT Abuser

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    Just because they are white doesn't meant that's why they've have avoided problems with mail in ballots. I'm sure minorities can figure it out, too.
  11. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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    In a hypothetical 100% turnout situation, Dems cruise to victory.

    However, are we even sure mail-in balloting would benefit Dems more? It could increase participation among whites and olds by as much, or more, in absolute numbers than it could other demographic groups.

    My big concern with mail-in voting isn't "fraud", it's anonymity. You don't want friends/family members being able to exert pressure on people because they are not protected by the privacy of an in-person voting experience. I have no idea how mail-ni balloting even works, though. Obviously, tens of millions of people do it already.
    Utumno likes this.
  12. Ssalam

    Ssalam TZT Abuser

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  13. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    That’s a good point

    Also people selling their votes. Not that I’d expect that to be a huge issue in a major national election, especially not the very first one done entirely by mail, but that’s the real reason you’re not allowed to photograph your own ballot at the polls
  14. Agrul

    Agrul TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    Utumno likes this.
  15. Velox

    Velox TZT Abuser

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    I hope he does, that may backfire.
  16. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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    State's rights may be one of the issues his army of enablers maybe not be so quick to rationalize away, as that is supposed to be one of their most core principles. I doubt it, though. We are talking about a Federal election. And I am highly sceptical these higher-level values outweigh team-based identitarianism.

    But who knows.
  17. Mern is Best

    Mern is Best TZT Addict

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  18. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Deceased GOP Strategist's Daughter Makes Files Public That Republicans Wanted Sealed
    January 5, 2020

    Stephanie Hofeller stands with her father, Thomas, for a family photo in California during the 1970s. Republicans fought to stop computer files found on the redistricting expert's hard drives from going public — now Stephanie is sharing them online.

    More than a year after his death, a cache of computer files saved on the hard drives of Thomas Hofeller, a prominent Republican redistricting strategist, is becoming public.

    Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina fought in court to keep copies of these maps, spreadsheets and other documents from entering the public record. But some files have already come to light in recent months through court filings and news reports.

    They have been cited as evidence of gerrymandering that got political maps thrown out in North Carolina, and they have raised questions about Hofeller's role in the Trump administration's failed push for a census citizenship question.

    Now more of the files are available online through a website called The Hofeller Files, where Hofeller's daughter, Stephanie Hofeller, published a link to her copy of the files on Sunday after first announcing her plans in a tweet last month.

    "These are matters that concern the people and their franchise and their access to resources. This is, therefore, the property of the people," Hofeller told NPR. "I won't be satisfied that we the people have found everything until we the people have had a look at it in its entirety."

    "A hunch that maybe something was wrong"

    Her decision to put the files online herself is just the latest twist in a series of one astonishing event after another.

    It had been more than four years since Stephanie had spoken to her father after a family dispute involving the custody of her children landed in court. But on the last day of September in 2018, she "had a hunch that maybe something was wrong," according to her testimony for a lawsuit deposition.

    Sitting in her car parked outside a convenience store in Kentucky, she used her phone to search online for her father's name and found an obituary for Thomas Hofeller, confirming that he had died at the age of 75 more than a month earlier in August.

    Stephanie then reconnected with her mother, Kathleen, and visited her parents' apartment in North Carolina, where she found four external hard drives and a clear plastic bag containing 18 USB thumb drives in her father's room. Stephanie says her mother encouraged her to take the devices.

    A treasure trove that led to bombshells

    It turned out they were filled with photos of Stephanie with her children and other personal items — as well as files from her father's work as a redistricting consultant for Republicans.

    While looking for an attorney to represent her mother in 2018, Stephanie says she connected with the North Carolina chapter of Common Cause, an advocacy group that had brought a lawsuit against Republican state officials to overturn political maps Thomas Hofeller helped draw. After mentioning the hard drives to Common Cause, Stephanie received a court order to turn them over as potential evidence for the lawsuit. She did so in March after making a copy of some of the files for herself.

    Since then, the Hofeller files have led to bombshell developments in two major legal battles in the political world.

    In September, Common Cause won its legal challenge to political maps in North Carolina, where a state court cited some of the files as evidence of gerrymandering designed to unfairly give Republicans an advantage in winning elections and maintaining control of the state legislature.

    "The Court finds that in many election environments, it is the carefully crafted maps, and not the will of the voters, that dictate the election outcomes in a significant number of legislative districts and, ultimately, the majority control of the General Assembly," a three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court wrote in their ruling.

    Other files have become intertwined in the federal lawsuits over the Trump administration's push to add the now-blocked citizenship question to the 2020 census, raising questions about Thomas Hofeller's role and the administration's true motives.

    Lawyers with the law firm Arnold & Porter — which represented both Common Cause and some of the citizenship question's challengers — uncovered an unpublished study in which Thomas Hofeller concluded using responses from such a question would be "advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites" when voting districts are redrawn. The revelation came weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in June, affirming a lower court's decision against the question, which has been permanently blocked from forms for the upcoming national head count.

    Saving "trade secrets" from being "destroyed"

    Stephanie says she decided to turn the hard drives over for the North Carolina lawsuit in March and to upload her copy of the files online this week in part to preserve a historical record about her father.

    "His work is really having a profound effect and has had long before anybody really noticed on a broader level," Stephanie says. "I think from the historical standpoint, this slice of life, this little snapshot is going to prove very valuable."

    Attorneys for Thomas Hofeller's former company, Geographic Strategies, have been trying to keep sealed copies of certain files that were turned over for the North Carolina case, citing them as "trade secrets," and other proprietary information about the company's work. While that dispute has played out in a state court in recent months, news organizations including The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Intercept have published reports based on copies they obtained of Hofeller's files.

    "I originally started sharing them with journalists as a direct response to the assertion by the legislative defendants through counsel that they should be destroyed," Stephanie tells NPR, which previously received a copy of the files from her.

    The files document the wide reach of Thomas Hofeller's work on political maps across the country — including in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia, as well as New York's Nassau County and Texas' Galveston and Nueces counties.

    In a Microsoft Word document last saved in 2015, Thomas Hofeller warned against changing the Census Bureau's policy of including prisoners in the population counts of the areas where they're incarcerated, expressing concern that "the actual effect on reapportionment and redistricting is not clearly known for individual states."

    Another ironic twist

    As a longtime strategist for the Republican National Committee, Thomas Hofeller was known for his warnings to keep redistricting work under wraps.

    "Treat every statement and document as if it was going to appear on the FRONT PAGE of your local newspaper," one of his slides for a 2011 training session for redistricting officials says. "Emails are the tool of the devil."

    Stephanie says the irony that some of his work files are now out in public is not lost on her.

    "I don't think he cared all that much to protect these people after he was gone," she adds.

    While he was alive, politics governed family life for the Hofellers, Stephanie says. Growing up, she remembers her father correcting how she and others would pronounce gerrymandering with a soft G sound.

    Her father preferred the hard G (as in Gary) in honor of the term's namesake — former U.S. Vice President Elbridge Gerry, who as governor of Massachusetts in 1812 signed into law a political map with a salamander-shaped district that gave the Democratic-Republican party an advantage over the Federalists.

    Stephanie says her father's stated goal was to use gerrymandering to "create a system wherein the Republican nominee would win."

    "State legislature, it doesn't matter who votes for what. Congress, it doesn't matter who votes for what. And president, it doesn't matter," she says.

    Contrary to some people's assumptions given her role in revealing her father's work to perpetuate Republican power, Stephanie says she does not identify as a Democrat, although she has voted for Democratic candidates in the past.

    "The reason I don't identify as a Democrat is because I'm an anarchist," she says. "I don't believe that we're going to really find solutions to the deeper problems of inequality in a system that demands a hierarchy, which is, by definition, unequal."

    "All the good stuff"

    During her deposition in May, she testified there may be more files from her father's work to uncover. Before Stephanie arrived at her parents' apartment, her father's business partner, Dale Oldham, had removed a laptop and a desktop computer with Hofeller's work files, Stephanie said her mother told her.

    "Dale got all the good stuff," Stephanie told attorneys.

    Oldham has not responded to NPR's requests for comment.

    As part of proceedings for the North Carolina case, Oldham has argued in court filings that when Thomas Hofeller died, "Geographic Strategies' computer, various files, and numerous backups in Dr. Hofeller's possession" belonged to the company — of whom Oldham is the sole surviving member — and its clients.

    In November, one of those clients, the Republican National Committee, paid Oldham more than $420,000 for "legal and compliance services" — part of a total of more than $658,000 Oldham has collected from the RNC since May, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

    Common Cause's attorneys have been unable to get Oldham to share any additional documents. But as part of sanctions proceedings related to the citizenship question lawsuits in New York, plaintiffs' attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman to allow them to subpoena Oldham, who in 2017 consulted through Hofeller with a then-adviser to the Trump administration on the question, according to an email obtained by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

    For her part, Stephanie says she's committed to transparency with the public in case she gets access to any more of her father's files.

    "If I were to find something," she says, "I would most certainly share it."
  19. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    The woman behind ‘Roe vs. Wade’ didn’t change her mind on abortion. She was paid
    MAY 19, 2020

    When Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff in the landmark Roe vs. Wade case, came out against abortion in 1995, it stunned the world and represented a huge symbolic victory for abortion opponents: “Jane Roe” had gone to the other side. For the remainder of her life, McCorvey worked to overturn the law that bore her name.

    But it was all a lie, McCorvey says in a documentary filmed in the months before her death in 2017, claiming she only did it because she was paid by antiabortion groups including Operation Rescue.

    “I was the big fish. I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money and they’d put me out in front of the cameras and tell me what to say. That’s what I’d say,” she says in “AKA Jane Roe,” which premieres Friday on FX. “It was all an act. I did it well too. I am a good actress.”

    In what she describes as a “deathbed confession,” a visibly ailing McCorvey restates her support for reproductive rights in colorful terms: “If a young woman wants to have an abortion, that’s no skin off my ass. That’s why they call it choice.”

    Arriving in an election year as the Supreme Court is considering a high-profile abortion case with the potential to undermine Roe vs. Wade and several states across the country have imposed so-called “heartbeat laws” effectively banning the procedure, “AKA Jane Roe” is likely to provoke strong emotions on both sides of this perennial front in the culture wars.

    Director Nick Sweeney says his goal was not necessarily to stir controversy, but to create a fully realized portrait of a flawed, fascinating woman who changed the course of American history but felt she was used as a pawn by both sides in the debate.

    “The focus of the film is Norma. That’s what I really want people to take away from the film — who is this enigmatic person at the center of this very divisive issue,” he says. “With an issue like this there can be a temptation for different players to reduce ‘Jane Roe’ to en emblem or a trophy, and behind that is a real person with a real story. Norma was incredibly complex.”

    Sweeney started making the film in April 2016, frequently visiting McCorvey in Katy, Texas. At first, he says, she was reticent, “but when she realized I was not involved in the abortion debate she was very happy to open up.” Over the course of the time they spent together, McCorvey recounted details of her difficult upbringing — marked by abuse, neglect and a stint in reform school — turbulent personal life, including a short-lived teenage marriage, and a decades-long relationship with girlfriend Connie Gonzalez.

    “I thought she was extremely interesting and enigmatic. I liked that her life was full of these fascinating contradictions,” says Sweeney, who also interviewed figures on either side of the abortion issue who were close to McCorvey, including attorney Gloria Allred and Rob Schenck, an evangelical minister and former leader of Operation Rescue.

    McCorvey comes across as funny, sharp and unfiltered, with a broad performative streak. She rattles off lines from “Macbeth” and jokes, “I’m a very glamorous person — I can’t help it, it’s a gift.”

    The documentary includes scenes of McCorvey on election night 2016 — a few months before she died of heart failure at age 69 — expressing her support for Hillary Clinton. “I wish I knew how many abortions Donald Trump was responsible for,” McCorvey muses. “I’m sure he’s lost count, if he can count that high.”

    “She had a kind of sly wit,” says Sweeney, recalling the many hours he spent with her in Katy, going on doughnut runs or sitting in a park, where she’d make him pick magnolia flowers.

    But there is also great sadness, particularly surrounding her relationship with Gonzalez, which she renounced after her conversion in 1995.

    The film explores one of the great ironies of McCorvey’s life story: Although she helped make abortion legal, McCorvey herself never had an abortion. She was pregnant with her third child when, in 1970, she signed an affidavit challenging laws in Texas which prohibited abortions except to save a mother’s life. As an impoverished, uneducated woman lacking the means to travel out of state or obtain an illegal procedure, she was an ideal plaintiff for the lawyers who tried the case, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee.

    “I know how I felt when I found out that I was pregnant and I wasn’t going to let another woman feel that way — cheap, dirty and no good,” McCorvey says in the film. “Women make mistakes, and they make mistakes with men, and things happen. It’s just Mother Nature at work. You can’t stop it. You can’t explain it. It’s just something that happens.”

    But it would take three years before the Supreme Court would render a verdict, by which time McCorvey had long since given birth to a girl who was placed for adoption. (Her second child had also been placed for adoption; her first child was raised by her mother.) McCorvey remembers learning of the decision in the newspaper and receiving a phone call from Weddington saying they’d won. “Why would I be excited? I had a baby, but I gave her away. It’s for all the women who come after me.”

    “AKA Jane Roe” also shows how McCorvey was held at arm’s length by abortion rights proponents. After a decade of anonymity, McCorvey went public in the 1980s and began granting interviews, and was depicted in the Emmy-winning TV movie, “Roe vs. Wade,” starring Holly Hunter. But to the leaders of the abortion rights movement, the inconsistencies in her story — for a time McCorvey claimed she had gotten pregnant as the result of a rape, then said she had been lying — and lack of polish made her a less-than-ideal poster girl for the cause.

    In 1995, she was working at a Dallas abortion clinic that was targeted for demonstrations by Operation Rescue, a militant organization known for extreme tactics such as blockading clinics (the group is now known as Operation Save America). She struck up an unlikely friendship with Flip Benham, an evangelical minister, who baptized her in a backyard pool, and for the next two decades of her life was a fixture at antiabortion protests and in documentaries. In 1998, she published a second memoir, “Won by Love,” detailing her change of heart on abortion. As Benham recalls with evident pride in “AKA Jane Roe,” McCorvey also took part in demonstrations where he burned the LGBT flag and the Quran.

    Despite her visible role in the fight against abortion, McCorvey says she was a mercenary, not a true believer. And Schenck, who has also distanced himself from the antiabortion movement, at least partially corroborates the allegations, saying that she was paid out of concern “that she would go back to the other side,” he says in the film. “There were times I wondered: Is she playing us? And what I didn’t have the guts to say was, because I know damn well we were playing her.”

    Schenck expresses regret at targeting McCorvey, someone whose vulnerabilities could be easily exploited, he says. “What we did with Norma was highly unethical. The jig is up.”

    ‘AKA Jane Roe’
    Where: FX
    When: 9 p.m. Friday
    Rating: TV-MA (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 17)
  20. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Think Trump and Republicans Wouldn't Try to Cancel an Election? Look at What GOP in Georgia Just Pulled Off
    "Having NO election is rigging an election."
    May 19, 2020

    Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will be permitted to hand-pick the state's next Supreme Court Justice after that same high court ruled last week that a special election set for Tuesday could be canceled.

    Kemp and his Secretary of State, Brad Raffensberger, moved to cancel voting in the state earlier this year after state Supreme Court Justice Keith Blackwell announced he would step down after his six-year term expires at the end of 2020.

    Taking the matter of who should succeed Blackwell into his own hands will allow Kemp, a Republican, to appoint another right-wing judge to serve on the highest court in the state for at least two years. Like the U.S. Supreme Court, the nine-member Georgia Supreme Court—though most of its member recused themselves from ruling on this case—enjoys a Republican majority.

    Both the Democratic and Republican former lawmakers who were running for the seat—John Barrow and Beth Beskin—filed lawsuits to have the election reinstated, but the state Supreme Court sided with Kemp last week in a 6-2 vote.

    Kemp narrowly won his 2018 gubernatorial race while serving as Secretary of State, a role in which he purged 53,000 mostly African-American voters from the state rolls.

    On Tuesday, radio host Joe Madison called the governor's move an attempt at "rigging" another state election.

    Six of the state's Supreme Court justices recused themselves from the case, forcing five lower court judges to participate in handing down the ruling.

    As Ian Millhiser explained at Vox, the Georgia state Constitution makes Kemp and Raffensberger's actions technically legal:

    The court's decision in Barrow turns on the tension between two provisions of the Georgia Constitution. The first provides that "all Justices of the Supreme Court and the Judges of the Court of Appeals shall be elected on a nonpartisan basis for a term of six years," and that the terms of these judges "shall begin the next January 1 after their election." Because this language refers to "all Justices," it suggests that an election must be held to fill Blackwell's seat, and that whoever prevails in that election shall join the state Supreme Court on the first of January.

    But a separate provision of the state constitution permits the governor to temporarily fill vacancies on the state Supreme Court, and it provides that "an appointee to an elective office shall serve until a successor is duly selected and qualified and until January 1 of the year following the next general election which is more than six months after such person's appointment."

    "The second provision seems to suggest that an appointed justice may serve until January 1, 2023—and longer, if that justice eventually wins the 2022 election," wrote Millhiser.

    Justice Brenda Holbert Trammell cast one of the dissenting votes, writing in her opinion that while she does not object to gubernatorial appointments overall, the people of Georgia should have retained their right to vote for their next state Supreme Court justice.

    "In this instance, when the resignation will not result in a vacancy in the office until (originally) almost six months after the election, I cannot in good conscience agree that the election should be cancelled and the will of the people thrust aside as 'fruitless and nugatory,'" wrote Holbert Trammell.

    As Daniel Nichanian, editor of The Appeal, tweeted, Kemp also recently acted to suspend a county race in order to retain a District Attorney position for the Republican Party.

    When Athens-Clarke and Oconee County DA Brian Mauldin, a Democrat, announced in February that he would not seek another term, Mauldin asked the governor to appoint an interim DA "promptly" so former state lawmaker Deborah Gonzalez, who was planning to run as a progressive reformer, could run against the interim DA in November.

    "Kemp, however, did no such thing," wrote Jay Willis at The Appeal last week. "By failing to act by May 3, six months before Election Day 2020, he ensured that whoever he eventually picks won't face a challenger until Election Day 2022 at the earliest. Gonzalez, the would-be reformer, will have to wait until then for a shot."

    "As governor, Kemp has pivoted from hollowing out democratic elections to simply cancelling them," added Willis.